National Association of Professional Process Servers

3 Reasons Why A Professional Process Server Is The Best Choice

There are two options when choosing someone to serve court papers in California: a process server or a deputy sheriff. Selecting a deputy sheriff can be the easier route. But a recent survey of legal professionals suggests that professional process servers are preferable to their sheriff counterparts. The survey polled 100 paralegals, legal assistants, and legal secretaries. 78% of those polled preferred process servers in a number of areas, including speed, knowledge of laws, and success rate.

Knowledge of Laws?

The attention and duties of a sheriff are divided, but a registered process server focuses solely on the laws related to service of process. According to the poll, their practice and expertise make them far more efficient. 58% of legal professionals reported that professional process services are more knowledgeable than sheriffs in the complexities of the law.

Success Rate

Even more impressive is the reported success rate of professional servers. Most Process Server work 6 to 7 days a week with 10-14 hour days including nights, holidays and weekends. Nine out of 10 poll participants ranked professional serves above sheriffs in effectiveness. Law professionals who hired a private process server found a 92% rate of success, while professionals who used a sheriff reported a success rate of 78%. A low success rate can translate to costly delays in court proceedings or even a full case dismissal.


The only area in which sheriffs received a higher rank was in overall cost. The nationwide average fee for a process server is $60.00, while the average fee for a sheriff is $40.00. However, according to reports, even the cost differential is negligible. The fee structure of a process server usually accounts for multiple attempts and other fees. The sheriff’s price does not include these additional fees or mileage costs. A sheriff is an option in some cases, but when it comes to reliability and expertise, a professional server might be worth the extra pay.

If you are interested in hiring a process server, use the largest database of vetted professionals in the industry through NAPPS.

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